Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a non-negotiable digital marketing strategy these days. Websites and blogs that aren’t optimized for SEO won’t rank well (if at all) in organic searches, which affects brand awareness, sales conversions, and the bottom line.
SEO gets tricky because there’s not a definitive way to determine if the SEO strategy is “successful”. It’s subjective to each company’s goals and measured key performance indicators (KPIs). It’s understandable, then, that there are a lot of questions about the benefits of SEO and if it’s really necessary.
1. Isn’t SEO Unpredictable?
Because there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to SEO, it can seem unpredictable or unreliable. The truth is that when you put a strategy behind the SEO, you can make predictions about the outcomes. For those who look at SEO on a surface level, it can seem like a guessing game, but SEO professionals conduct ample research and analyze data before optimizing content and implementing changes, so they can foresee how their strategy will work when someone performs a Google search.
2. Is SEO Worth It If I Can Pay for Ads?
Both SEO and pay-per-click (PPC) have their place in an overall digital marketing strategy, and they affect different parts of the sales funnel. If someone is in the middle or bottom of the funnel, a paid ad at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) may entice them to click and move forward in the sales process. However, you don’t want to target only those parts of the funnel. You also want to provide information for people at the top of the sales funnel who are just starting their research. They’re looking for information and getting to know different businesses. SEO and organic results offer brand awareness and help create a lasting first impression.
3. Is SEO a Scam?
No is the short answer. SEO itself is not a scam. There are scammy tactics, however. SEO falls into two categories: white hat and black hat. The black hat SEO tactics are, in fact, a scam and they can do more harm than good. In fact, black hat SEO can get your website blacklisted from Google … the opposite of what SEO is intended to do. White hat SEO, on the other hand, provides more opportunities to get your brand messaging out into the world and support other marketing and sales strategies. The key is to work with SEO professionals who follow only white hat best practices and are transparent about the work they do.
4. Why Does SEO Take so Long?
Like with black hat SEO, there are some professionals who promise quick results and top Google rankings immediately. That’s not realistic if you want quality traffic and leads. All good things take time, as they say, and SEO is no different. Because there is research and analysis involved, there’s a short period of time before any changes are implemented. Once the optimizations and SEO strategies begin, they will be monitored so the SEO professional can report on updates. This does rely on Google’s bots crawling the webpages to find the relevant information for search queries. The good news is that your patience will be rewarded as you start to see your web pages and blogs climb up the rankings in Google.